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The U.S. Department of State is warning U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Haiti because of an unstable political situation. Citizens there are urged to consider departing at this time. Travel can be hazardous within Port-au-Prince, and the downtown area is off limits to U.S. Embassy staff after sundown. There is no effective police force, said State, and there is a potential for looting, intermittent roadblocks by armed gangs or by the police, and random violent crime. State said there has been a noticeable escalation in crime since Sept. 30 2004. The consular section of the embassy can be reached at 509-223-7011. Oct 20, 2004

Three of the nation's largest airlines reported a combined $906 million in third-quarter losses on Wednesday Oct. 20 2004. The largest by far was at Delta Air Lines Inc., where bankruptcy looms unless it can quickly win concessions from its pilots and debt holders. Soaring fuel prices were the main culprit for the red ink at AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines, Northwest Airlines Corp. and Delta, whose situation also has been exacerbated by the cost of servicing its $20.6 billion in debt. All three reported higher revenue.

Air Exel is to sever its links with KLM over the coming months. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Air Exel have decided to revise their cooperative ties. The existing KLM Exel franchise will be discontinued effective 6 November 2004. From that date, Air Exel will operate ATR 72 flights between Eindhoven and Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Hamburg under its own name and XT flight numbers. Air Exel will continue to operate fly between Maastricht and Schiphol on behalf of KLM until 26 March 2005, after which KLM cityhopper will take over the flights on this route. http://www.exelaviationgroup.com Oct 18, 2004

Air New Zealand will no longer sell First Class seats on 747-400 flights after June 10, 2005. It is refitting its cabins with three new classes - a premium class, super economy class, and refreshed economy. All cabins will have new seats, in-flight entertainment systems and new food and beverage service. Premium Class will have lie-flat seats, Super Economy seats will have 40-inch pitch and be equipped with video screens, and Economy Class will have 34-inches of pitch. Passengers already booked in First Class beyond that date, and agents will be contacted to assist in rebooking. Oct 19, 2004

New Zealand visitors and of course nationals will be pleased to learn that Air New Zealand Link carrier Air Nelson is to replace its current fleet of 17 Saab 340A aircraft with a like number of Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 turboprops. The delivery of the first new aircraft is expected in July 2005 with one joining the fleet every six weeks, completing the delivery process within two years. The new aircraft are much quieter internally, 20 knots quicker in the cruise and offering 50 seats instead of 30. Passengers will find them far more comfortable. Air Nelson links the regional centers of Nelson, Napier, Palmerston North and New Plymouth, with the main city centers of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The airline also operates some of the Air New Zealand Link services to and from Rotorua, Tauranga and Hamilton. In another move Singapore Airlines has sold its shareholding in Air New Zealand at a substantial loss. SIA first acquired a stake in 2000 but after the New Zealand government vetoed plans for a 49% shareholding the airline quickly lost interest. It has now raised its holding in Qantas from 1% to 3%. http://www.airnewzealand.com Oct 18, 2004

AirTran Airways says it will move to quickly allow passengers at Orlando International Airport to receive expedited clearance as part of the Transportation Security Administration's decision to allow a private sector rollout of the Registered Traveler Program there. The program will be voluntary and governed by privacy protection policies. The airline said that as soon as the TSA publishes the formal regulations needed, it is ready to start offering the expedited procedures. The TSA has been testing the program at five other airports...

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